This course surveys British history from the Stone Age until the Hanoverian Age of the 18th century.  We will especially emphasize England in the medieval and early-modern periods.  British history during this period is extremely rich; we could not possibly discuss everything that happened!  Therefore, we will pay special attention to a few specific themes, namely the development of parliamentary forms of government, the role of religious conflict in shaping political and social developments, and the emergence of a fledgling British Empire in area ranging from Ireland to the American West Indies.  In the 19th century Britain became the most powerful nation-state in the world, with armies and merchants strung across a wide-ranging Empire.  How did a small island nation become so influential in world history?  This course seeks to illuminate the foundations of Britain's 19th-century rise to power and possible parallels between the development of a British Empire and what many claim is a late-20th and 21st-century American Empire.